Tag Archives: overwhelm

To Niche Or Not To Niche, That Is The Question?

You hear the advice all of the time, you must niche, you must niche in order to succeed! Now, I am no marketing expert and I do completely get why, we “should” do this, but let’s explore both sides to the argument. I can almost feel the marketing experts seething at the teeth and shaking their heads, no no no, don’t listen, it will end in failure. Maybe it will but maybe it won’t! The problem I have as a Life Coach is that I spend a lot of my time asking this question to my clients, “who says you should?” Should’ing yourself can promote an awful lot of guilt and anguish and if you find yourself telling yourself, “I should do this because they said I should”, then maybe it’s time to follow your own internal advice and believe in your own way forward.

The online dictionary defines Niche as: denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialised selection of the population.

So, why should we niche? It’s all about knowing your ideal customer and your target market, so you can talk directly to them. Makes a lot of sense and one I don’t disagree with. Of course, you need to know who your target market is but the big piece of the puzzle we don’t often hear is, do you know where to find them? do you know what marketing arena they will be hanging out in? Once you know this you can target your product or service directly to your people. You can have different services and a different marketing strategy for each one.

The big problem I have with niche’ing is I don’t want to spend my days supporting just one type of person( no matter how much I love it). I am not passionate and knowledgeable about just one thing. I am passionate and knowledgeable about a lot of things and having to chose one area just does not sit right with me. Now again, I can hear the critics saying, but people want experts and experts they shall seek. Maybe, some potential customers will seek out an “expert” a “guru” a “leading light” but that will certainly come at a price and let me tell you, that doesn’t make them any better. Pricing, I will come onto shortly but let’s stay with the expert discussion for now. I know that I am not alone, I know that many of us are multi skilled, multi talented and can transfer skills from one situation to another. Why quash your passions, your skills, your desires because someone says you should. Why hold yourself back for a select few, when you can support and provide for the masses!

Now, back to pricing. The advice is right that the more “super niche’d” you are the more you can charge. But, I think this debate comes down to your values, your guiding principles, your mission statement. Do you feel comfortable and happy charging a small fortune to the select few? if yes, then great stuff and super niche away. If no, then what would make you happy and how can you achieve that?

The moral of this blog is that there is no right or wrong approach. There is no one size fits all and that comes down to the simple fact that we are human beings driven by love and security. Didn’t we all become business owners for those reasons? To love what we do and provide an income to feed us, to protect us, to provide shelter. I sense, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs prompting me here 🙂

Ask yourself this:

Do I understand what my vision and values are?

Do I know my target market and where to find them?

Can I be courageous, stand up and be heard? (You may have the best product in the world, but if no one can hear you, you won’t be found).

Do I believe in myself and allow my passions to shine?

Whatever path you take or are on, I wish you well. There are 7.53 billion people in this world. That’s enough customers to go round, that’s enough to know you won’t please or appeal to everyone. That’s enough to surely allow yourself to love what you do and the way that you do it.

Daniela Stones is a Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and soon to be Counsellor. She supports and nurtures people with their business, with their health, with their family and with their soul. Contact her today for more information. info@danielastones.co.uk or 07948 685680

 

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The Importance of having Boundaries as an Independent Business Owner

Are you an independent business owner stressed and rapidly losing the love for your business? Then setting yourself boundaries is a must. So, what do I mean by boundaries I hear you say. Well, boundaries are a bit like having your own personal set of rules and regulations. For some professions such as counselling, boundaries are a fundamental part of our ethical guidelines. Put in place to protect us, the professional from burn out and also our customers from misleading services and relationships.

Let’s take some time to imagine a business owner without boundaries. This business owner is working every hour god sends and saying yes to every customer. Their customers are demanding the world and the separation between business and life is a blur. Their feeling fed up, panicked and completely overwhelmed. Now, I know what some of you are thinking, “but, I need to work this way to get enough money to survive.” I do get that, when I first started my business, I was in complete panic mode and said yes to everything and everybody. It was no surprise then, that very soon I was exhausted and actually doubting that I had done the right thing. I started searching for “real” jobs and was ready to give it all up within 4 months. My reasons for running my own business had not turned into reality. I know i’m not alone, the majority of my clients say that one of their top reason’s for going self employed was the flexibility that it was supposed to give them and their family. Another reason is that they want to be doing something that they love but they are actually resenting it already.

If you are feeling stressed, burnt out, overwhelmed and disappointed of the promised magic that working for yourself brings, then have a go at setting yourself some boundaries.

Start with being really clear about when and where you want to work. Devise yourself a working rota. Ask yourself these questions:

  • what days do I want to work?
  • What times do I want to work?
  • When am I prepared to respond to customer queries?
  • Where do I want to work?
  • When will I exercise, self care, meditate?

The other thing you may find helpful is to do this exercise alongside your business plan. That way you can account for the fact that in the beginning you may need a very quick cash injection. If money is tight, then you may need to set longer working hours in the beginning until cash flow becomes constant and perhaps you can then outsource some of your roles to others. Be realistic about how long things take to grow and if you have a family does this working rota marry up with your family vision? If not, are you willing to sacrifice that for now or do you need to make your timelines longer to achieve that vision? Remember though that if you are stressed and frazzled your customers will pick up on that and the money will stop flowing, people just wont want to work with you. What you put out, you will get back.

The use of a contract, T&C’s or agreement is another great way to set your boundaries and to help you be clear with your customers around, when they can contact you, how and when they need to pay, what they do if they have a complaint and what services they can expect from you. The best advice is to take your client through your contract, that way you know they’ve read it and any questions can be answered then and there. You will feel so much more in control and empowered knowing that all expectations have been set and agreed.

Now let’s imagine your own business, where you are working the hours you want to work. Time for other things in your life, time for you to recover, stay strong and love what you do. This will give you strength, focus, clarity and energy that is essential to allow you and your business to flourish. What boundaries do you need to install to achieve your vision?

Boundaries are just setting your expectations with yourself and your customers and also checking they align to your vision and timelines. If your feeling stressed, overworked and frazzled, give it a go, it may be just what you need.

Daniela Stones is a Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and soon to be Counsellor, specialising in supporting Independent Business Owners to overcome the pain, fears and self sabotage and emerge as thriving, happy and successful beings!

Contact me today for a free, no obligation chat, to see if I’m the support you need. Call me on 07948 685680 or email at info@danielastones.co.uk

 

A few fast and effective ways to declutter your mind…

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When do you know you should have a clear out?

Do you ever get that feeling of overwhelm? That feeling when your brain is just going to POP with stuff and nothing is making it go away. There was a time in my life when my brain was so full of stuff such as emotions and things to do that panic and anxiety hit me full on in the face. I suddenly stopped coping and couldn’t seem to get anything done, it was like being in a vicious cycle whirling out of control. Luckily for me I discovered life coaching and hypnotherapy and was able to take some time out to get off the cycle and re-evaluate my life. The first thing I had to do was de-clutter my mind which allowed me to see clearly again and think straight, it really did feel like cleaning a very dirty window and suddenly seeing a beautiful view that you didn’t even knew existed.  Here are some of my top tips to help your de-clutter your mind and have a view again:

  • Schedule yourself time for a brain dump. Get yourself pen and paper and sit somewhere quiet and just write down every single thought, feeling and emotion that comes into your brain. Write down everything you need to do and want to do and if nothing comes just write that. Try closing your eyes and take some slow deep breaths to help you relax and that may start your brain whirring.
  • Once you have everything out of your brain and onto paper its time to start prioritising. Mark stuff that’s urgent and important as top priority and work down from there. Try using a scale of 1-10 with 10 being high important and urgent and 1 being not urgent or important. What can you bin on your list? Only work with one list that incorporates work and life, that will really help with your work life balance.
  • Try and write your thoughts and things to do down as often as you can, ideally as you are thinking about them. The sooner you get these down the easier and quicker your mind will rest. Carry with you a pen and paper or use a to do list on your phone.
  •  Have a note book by your bed, but if you are anything like me this will be the best thing you will ever do. If your brain seems to ping on as soon as you switch your light off, then have a go at writing those thoughts down then and there. You will be amazed at how quickly you master the art of writing legibly in the dark, and you will sleep a whole lot better.
  • Call in the experts, if you are really struggling to make the first move or change the habits of a life time then coaching or hypnotherapy could be the answer for you. This will allow you time to focus just on you, your thoughts, your actions and behaviours and help you find the way forward that works just for you.

Watch out for my collaboration with http://www.facebook.com/yourspacesorted who will provide you with top tips to declutter your home.

contact me at info@danielastones.co.uk or visit http://www.danielastones.co.uk for more information